Dr. Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister, Meghalaya, attended the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the renowned St. Francis Institute at the closing ceremony in Mawkasing. Dr. Sangma congratulated the CMSF (Congregation of the Missionary Brothers of St Francis of Assisi) who have successfully served Meghalaya for 25 years and also talked of how the socio-economic landscape in the state is steadily undergoing a transformation. Dr. Sangma also highlighted the Government’s mission to reach out to all education sector stakeholders for better empowerment of youth in order to drive higher productivity in the region.
Dr. Sangma also inaugurated a new building, which commemorates this Silver Jubilee Celebration of the school. The school was founded at Mawkasing in the year 1992 and presently there is the St Francis D Assisi Higher Secondary School, St Francis Holistic Healing Centre (Alternative and Indigenous Medicine) & Dispensary and St Francis Boy’s Home. Dr. M Ampareen Lyngdoh, Minister, PWD (R), David Nongrum, MLA, Mawryngkneng and Rt Rev Dominic Jala, Archbishop of Shillong, also attended the event. The Welcome Address was given by Bro Jinu Joseph, the Principal & Supervisor while Bro (Dr.) Thomas Pulickal, the ex-Superior & Director, St Francis Healing Centre, also offered a report on the establishment of the healing centre and school.
Dr. Sangma talked of how there are some institutions which are regarded as inspirational by students and many of these are missionary-managed. Several such institutions in Shillong have helped in earning a reputation as an educational hub of the state. The missionaries have already created a more enabling environment in Meghalaya, particularly with education and welfare projects, according to Dr. Mukul Sangma. The human resource strength of the state and its youth can be better harnessed with quality educational facilities. The Government is also striving to reach out to students in remote parts of the state, keeping in mind the gap between the pass percentages of pupils in the capital and those in difficult zones.
He highlighted how the school reported of a 100% pass percentage in the last examination which includes students who passed with first division in their Matric examinations. He talked of how education was necessary for the creation of progressive and enlightened thinkers and doers in the society who can stay updated with global happenings across diverse fields. He also talked of how the students of the school should become capable and responsible members of society in the future, contributing to the welfare of the nation and state.
Dr. Sangma admitted that there was a huge difficulty in totally doing justice to the need to provide education to all. However, the state is taking concrete steps in this direction, aiming to churn out capable young men and women equipped with knowledge and skills. This will prevent youths from considering themselves as growing liabilities. The challenge should be addressed by the Government in partnership with stakeholders. The youth have to be carefully nurtured according to Dr. Sangma so that they never doubt themselves and their potential.
He also sounded a note of caution, when he stated that the problems and other frustrations of youth can prove to be dangerous for the sustenance of democracy since failure and the subsequent anger can lead to several democratic threats and create volatile environments. As a result, the importance of providing quality education is unparalleled according to Dr. Sangma. He talked of how the Government is considering how to address these issues of friends and stakeholders in the educational sector, including demands for salary and benefit increases in non-governmental schools and the issues of ad-hoc schoolteachers. The Government will strive to ensure that teachers can successfully take care of the aspirations and needs of their own families according to Dr. Mukul Sangma.